When was the last time you met someone whose name is Judas? Personally, I never met a person with that name. In fact, it is rare to find parents naming their children Judas. Though the name Judas means “praised,” it is commonly attributed to the man who betrayed the Messiah.
Today, it seems that Judas Iscariot is an epitome of what a Christian should not be. Thus, it is important that we should not be like Judas. To do that, we must know the characteristics of Judas and try our best to avoid those qualities.
In this blog post, let me share with you the five signs that you are like Judas.
Sign no. 1: Private Sinner
Imagine being one of the twelve disciples of Jesus/Yeshua. It is a great privilege to be part of that inner circle. Now, one might conclude that it is a sure ticket to God’s Kingdom. However, we see how Judas threw that opportunity all away because of his private sins.
Judas had spent more than three years with the Christ. He has studied at the feet of the greatest Teacher this world has ever seen. He had witnessed firsthand the manner, custom, and life of Jesus Christ and yet, it did not change him.
For the people around Judas, they see him as a public saint who followed Christ wherever He went. But deep inside, Judas was a private sinner. The lips he uses to praise God are the same lips he used to curse in his heart. The eyes He used to appreciate the miracles of Christ are the same eyes he used to covet his neighbor’s goods. The hands he used to distribute the food during the feeding of thousands of people are the same hands he used to steal money.
Instead of overcoming the sins he struggled with and asked Christ for help, he succumbed to it. He refused to repent of his sins and eventually, those sins crippled and consumed him to death.
Lesson: Do we have private sins in our lives that we refuse to overcome because of the pleasure it gives? Time will come when you will not be able to contain it anymore and become a slave to it. Don’t wait for that moment. Repent now and let God and Christ help you.
Sign no. 2: Love for Money
Money by itself is neutral – it is neither good nor evil. However, the LOVE of money is among the roots of all evil (I Timothy 6:10). This is the downfall of Judas. In one occasion, Mary anointed Christ’s feet with expensive perfume. We read in John 12:4-6:
But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.
There’s no doubt that Judas love for money is greater than his love for Christ. Later we read that he sold out Christ for 30 pieces of silver, the price tag for his loyalty to his Master.
Lesson: today, it is sad that we see a lot of people “who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition” (I Timothy 6:9). Indeed, Judas was called a “son of perdition” (John 17:12). We must set our priorities straight as Christians. There are many things that money can’t buy, and it surely can’t buy salvation.
Sign no. 3: Traitor
Judas is famously known as the traitor and certainly, he was identified to be a traitor in the scripture (Matthew 10:4). The sin that long Judas harbored in his heart culminated when he finally betrayed Christ to the hands of the chief priest and the Pharisees.
Lesson: It does not take for us to betray a friend and resulted in his/her death to be called a traitor. There are small things in life that we could have been doing and we can be as guilty as Judas in a different level. Every time we sin, we are betraying Christ’s love toward us. We are also betraying God the Father as we don’t give too much importance to the sacrifice His son has made.
Sign no. 4: Worldly Sorrow
After betraying Christ and realizing the magnitude of his sin, Judas regretted his actions and even brought back the blood money to the high priest and the elders (Matthew 27:3).
However, this is where can see the difference of the sorrow felt by Judas from the sorrow felt by Peter. Both disciples betrayed Christ – one by selling Christ out and the other denying Him multiple times.
Peter sinned, repented, and sinned. Judas sinned, felt remorseful, and hanged himself. Peter felt the godly sorrow while Judas experienced a worldly sorrow.
Lesson: While it is true that sin separates us from God, we need to realize that instead of running away from God, we need to run toward Him. We need to seek God’s forgiveness and repent of our sins. As long as we are sorry for our sins, repented of them, and produce the fruits of repentance, then God is gracious enough always to forgive us.
Sign no. 5: Selfishness
Judas had the wrong motive and heart when answering Christ’s calling. His ulterior motive in joining Christ’s group might be to take advantage of the growing influence of Jesus. He thought that Christ would rule during His first coming and be part of Christ’s circle will ensure him of a high position.
We know that Judas is a brilliant man who managed to set himself as the treasurer of Christ’s group. He held the treasurer’s box and was in a unique position to prove himself to be worthy of the trust given to him. But he failed the test.
Now that Christ’s death is inevitable, he tried to save his own skin by turning over his Master to the authority. In the process, he took the opportunity to earn money from his treacherous act.
We cannot really pinpoint when Judas became greedy and selfish. He could have been an impostor all along or something happened along the way that he took the wrong path. But one thing is clear; his selfishness brought him to destruction.
Lesson: We need to realize that God is calling us to live His way of giving rather than Satan’s way of getting. Our human nature may scream to get more and more, but we need to overcome that and develop that godly love – a genuine and pure concern to our fellow man.
The question still remains, are you a modern-day Judas? We might have different names, but if we have the same qualities mentioned here, then we can potentially become Judas, a man who betrayed Christ.
Thankfully, it isn’t over yet for all of us. As long as we are still alive, there is hope for repentance and positive change. Let us not become a modern-day Judas, but instead let us submit to God’s will and “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Yeshua Christ” (II Peter 3:18).